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Dell Dimension 2350 Won't Boot

Have helped with a friend's Dell Dimension 2350 before. When it is unplugged & moved, it won't power up. In the past, unplugging it until the motherboard light completely stops blinking has worked. This time their grandson visited & downloaded some games, so it was veeerrry slow. Our schedules are opposite, so I had them drop it off at my place again. Won't power up at all, even with the power cord trick. Have also tried unplugging it and: 1) Holding the power button in for a minute or longer 2) Crossing the prongs on the wall end of the power cord, +/-, then each power to ground separately, to discharge caps, etc. 3) Plugging it directly into the wall (Dell web site said that too many items on a power strip may interfere) The light blinks so it's getting some power, but where do I go next? A new power supply? The power button itself (current power supply does not have a separate power switch)? Motherboard problem(s)? Thanks!

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I would try another power supply first. Use one that has the same or greater output watts. I keep several old ones around for this purpose. If that does not solve it then you may have a failed motherboard. Failure of motherboards is usually due to breaking capacitors. A few years ago a capacitor company stole the "recipe" for making capacitors from another company and tried to make their own, unfortunately they did not get the ingredients right and the capacitors started breaking after 2-3 years of use. They sold these capacitors at very cheap prices and a lot of computer companies and power supply makers bought them. This is easy to diagnose. Look for capacitors (caps) (they look like little tiny soda cans) on your motherboard (mobo). They should be perfectly flat on top and not bulged or swelling or leaking anything. Be sure to look under the fan shroud also. The dead giveaway will be the fact that you are not getting anything after you change the PSU. There are a few companies that will repair broken capacitor issues. Also if you add a bunch of extra components without upgrading the power supply you can suffer underpowered situations and that can cause internal parts to fail.
To eliminate some other stuff you could remove the memory and disconnect all the power plugs from the drives and then try to start it up. If it does not change the behavior at all (no beeps, no change in flashing lights) then you probably have motherboard issues. Make sure when disconnecting the memory chips (sticks) that you touch the metal on the inside of the case first to discharge static electricity. If it does change the behavior add 1 component or item back at a time to see what you can find out. Post back with what you find. And remember a bad PSU does not always mean no power, just not enough to run the computer.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009

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